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A Food Budget
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Posted 07 February 2012 - 03:35 PM
Not sure where to place this but thought I'll try here.
I was hoping some of you lovelies could give me an idea what you spend on Groceries per week or fortnight (I do fortnight) and what you actually buy.
There are the 3 of us (Me, DD 16yrs and DS 11yrs) I also have two dogs and two cats.
I'm cutting my budget to the bone everywhere and need some ideas how to cut it down further so I can actually start saving some money instead of living pay to pay and then panicking when something I haven't accounted for comes up.
Any ideas will be a tremendous help.
Posted 07 February 2012 - 03:41 PM
I set aside $200/week for food. That covers two adults and two children and two cats. Some weeks we go over and some under but it roughly evens out. Things that we do are
* bulk shop at Costco
* go to a wholesale butcher where we can get a kg of mince for $5
* buy fruit and veg from a greengrocer. Just recently I went to coles (because it was just easier) and I tallied up how much I spent and I was gobsmacked it was almost twice what I pay! I can usually get enough fruit and veges for the week from $25 - 30. And it is often closer to the $20 mark
* I menu plan so there is no waste
* We also eat vegetarian 3 - 4 times a week
Posted 08 February 2012 - 09:51 AM
Do you have markets where you can buy your fruit and veg?
Are you able to do a bulk meat order. I used to do this and I could get six months of meat for $5.50 per kilo. You need a big freezer for this though. The butcher used to give me the offcuts for the dogs too.
I'm no help because I live in a remote area and our food bills are astronomical.
Sorry, I'm not much help.
Posted 08 February 2012 - 11:57 AM
Unfortunately I don't have a butcher or fruit and Veg shop where I shop.
I can travel to one and check it out though.
Do you do price comparisions before going? IE: check what the prices are like at Coles and Woolies then go to the butcher and fruit and veg?
Posted 08 February 2012 - 12:06 PM
I spend $150 a week on 2 adults and 1 toddler. I recently had to cut back as I was overspending so I started buying more homebrands on things like milk, margarine, juice, etc. I also only buy the general pantry items and fruit from the supermarket on the weekend then I go on my cooking days to buy the things I need to make that recipe. Eg if I am making a casserole that will last 3 days, I go buy what I need to make it and the veges to go with it then I will go back in 3 days. This way I have no spoilage.
Also, look at meal servings. If a meal should serve 4 but your or DH thinks it isn;t enough, add more veges, not meat.
I have a sludge fund so I also buy bulk where I can but if you don't have this available it can be tricky.
Posted 08 February 2012 - 12:12 PM
we have 200 a fortnight on food
+ 100 a fortnight on a large dog and 2 cats ( who are picky and will only eat the stuff thats 1.20 a can for 80g lol)
and that feeds two adults, but also does his lunches every day( and often needs a decent lot of food when he's doing the physical stuff... that and he's a big guy) , and mine most of the time so basically every dinner feeds atleast four... we often feed mum too who lives downstairs. It also ofen covers grabbing lunch or dinner out atleast a few times in the 2 weeks ( not tlaking flashy stuff here just the local food court and local club meals)
we arent really careful with what we buy and fit in the $200 and usually only go over if there is some kind of meat on good sale and we bought extras, we decide to have some kind of unplanned large bbq ( more then 3 or 4 ppl besides us) or some kind of emergency something ( ya know some moron knocks out an entire shelf in the pantry and everythign breaks LOL)
and i dont meal plan because its impossible with dh's non sheduled shift working .... so i never know more then an evening ahead if i'm going to need leftovers for his work or LOTS of leftovers cause he's doing a 12 hour shift.... or none cause he'll be home and we might go grab food out
Posted 08 February 2012 - 12:16 PM
Between $250 and $300 per fortnight for 2 adults, 2 kids (10 and 2) and 1 dog. I buy what I can from Aldi (usually around $170-$200) and the rest from Coles/butcher/fruit and veg.
Meal planning is the key. Choose meals where you can buy bulk amounts of meat /f&v. Plan to useful use all ingredients (ie, beef strong and burritos in same week to use all sour cream).
We eat meat most meals, have some snack food each fortnight (chips and nice cheese) and lots I fruit and veg. You can save a lot by swapping cleaning stuff to aldi brands- good ones (IMO) are their dishwasher tablets ($10 for 40), front loader washing powder ($5 for 1.5kg) and hand soap (I buy the big refil bottles and use my original Palmolive containers on the bench).
Posted 08 February 2012 - 12:27 PM
I spend approx $200 per week for 2 adults and 5 kids, 1 large dog, 1 cat, 4 chooks and 1 duck.
Dog- gets a whole, raw chicken frame/carcass a day that I buy in bulk, $3.50 for 5, or $20 for about 25. Also gets family food scrap and veggies, an egg every day or two, and milk as a treat once a week.
Cat- dry cat food, milk dish and water dish $4.50 every fortnight.
Poultry- bulk purchase of 25kg bag layer pellets, costs $15 per month.
We are vegetarians, so eat lots of veggies, fruit, tofu, eggs and legumes. I guess I spend serious money on fancy cheeses (haloumi, goat's fetta, etc) and exxy things like sundried tomatoes/olives, and laundry supplies. I buy lots of Coles brand items, I buy in bulk or multiples when they have a "2 for the price of 1 deal", and I make almost all meals from scratch- we eat very little processed food. A big treat for us is to buy a family box of hot chips for $6.70 from the local takeaway every month or so and it will feed all 5 kids as a treat. Our freezer does not have frozen meals in it, rather just frozen spinach/frozen peas and puff pastry to make pies and quiches. I always read my supermarket catalogues and am always keeping an eye out for a bargain.
Posted 08 February 2012 - 12:36 PM
We spend $140 a fortnight on groceries for two adults, a toddler, a cat and a dog. We do have to top up milk a couple of times in that week, so add another $10 for that as we get a new 3L bottle every 3 days or so. So that is $150 a fortnight.
We meal plan all dinners and take leftovers for lunch.
We do a meat shop about once a month at a wholesale butcher and spend about $80 ($40 per fortnight)
We shop for our produce at a wholesale green grocer near us and spend about $40 per fortnight for a huge box of vegies. We often stock up on whatever is on special/in season and plan our 'snacks' around this. For example this week we got whole seedless watermelons for 29c a kilo, whole kent and butternut pumpkins for 89c a kilo (so I made pumpkin pie and pumpkin spice muffins as well as incorporating pumpkin into a couple of other meals).
We shop for our groceries at ALDI first, and then duck into Coles or Woolies for the few items we can't get at ALDI (for example our cat won't eat ALDI cat food). Between the two we spend the balance of approx $60 (usually about $35 at ALDI, $25 at Woolies).
We make our own wherever possible - yoghurt, bread & rolls, pasta, pizza bases, pizza sauce, pasta sauce, mayo, stock, ice cream & icey poles, salad dressings etc.
We don't use nappies anymore, but previously used cloth nappies. I use a FemmeCup instead of pads or tampons.
There are still a couple more items I wish to trim: We have chooks that I am hoping will start supplying us with eggs soon so we can stop buying them. I'm also hoping to buy a Safety Razor shortly so that I can stop buying disposable razors and hubby can stop forking out for $10 packs of razor cartridges every couple of months.
It sounds like a lot of work, but its not really. Both hubby and I work full time. I guess its lucky I love cooking
Posted 08 February 2012 - 12:41 PM
LIBRABLONDE WHAT AN INSPIRATION YOU ARE!!!! I do hope your Dh and family thank you for the wonderful job you are doing!!!!
As for me....
2 adults, 3 children
All meals at home, bar once a fortnight perhaps pizza/club $5 roast special
I spend about $200 a fortnight at ALDI, then once a mth $40 at Woolies for toiletries and cheese (hate ALDI cheese!!).
Meat we get from ALDI and occassional go to the butcher for more 'special' meats, about $60 every 6 wks.
Fruit and Veg mainly in the $200 from ALDI, sometimes go to the local fruit shop, find ALDI cheaper overall!!
I bake A LOT!! Dh and kids lunchboxed ALWAYS have at least 2 homemade treats in them, so CHEAP, know what's in them and I cook it with our smaller 2 kids...FUN!!
Posted 08 February 2012 - 01:03 PM
CHATON Could you tell me what is a safety razor?? Curious!!
I should have also added to mine that I use cloth nappies, we have chooks and grow what we can in the garden, moreso in the cooler mths. I hope to start using a DIVA CUP mext cycle too.....!
Posted 08 February 2012 - 01:05 PM
Wow, some inspirational people here. I thought I was doing well but it appears I have lots to learn!
I spend $200 a week for two adults, 1 toddler and a dog. This covers all breakfasts, at least 5 evening meals and most lunches.
This also includes nappies, basic toiletries and cleaning products.
I love to cook and place a lot of value on eating clean, healthy, local food where possible. This means we don't eat huge amounts of meat but what we do have is high quality (and importantly, delicious). Like a PP I also have a weakness for great cheese and am happier to spend money on small amounts of good stuff rather than a huge bland block.
I do an Aldi shop for certain items (their nappies, wipes and organic range is great!) but also go to woolworths and specialty shops for other items. I will only buy free range chicken, eggs and pork products for ethical reasons. I also try to source locally grown fruit and veg at local markets/shops where possible and this is often cheaper as well as fresher.
One small change that really helped free up some cash was planting a decent herb garden. Those little bunches at the supermarket are soooo expensive but for a tiny outlay (under $20 for seedlings and potting mix) I now have virtually unlimited rosemary, basil, parsley, dill and oregano.
I will be watching with interest for more tips!
Posted 08 February 2012 - 01:29 PM
Monthly grocery shopping takes us a good few hours, but it pays off:
Firstly we go through the pantry and make a note of what we have, ie 2 x Serves Pasta, Tin Tomatoes, Sachet for slow cooker...
Then we visit the Butcher:
$120ish per month on meat (try to find meat serves 150-200g per person at no more than $5 per meal for the family which is surprisingly doable - rather than just picking up a packet of mince for spaghetti and wasting left overs or someone scoring leftover lunch when someone else is having a sandwich, it actually makes a difference to purposely buy 500-600grams).
After our monthly meat shopping we come home and split up anything that we got in bulk, maybe a tray of meat that needs to be split over 3 or 4 meals, or a bulk lot of sausages to be split up. In doing this we make another note of how many serves of what we ended up with.
DH, DS & I then go to the grocers stopping for a 'coffee' with our lists on the way - we list out the meat and decide how we want it, ie mince1 = spaghetti, mince2 = Hamburgers, mince3 = Chow Mein, Steak = would be nice with a Red Wine Jus & Cous Cous etc etc trying to use up the stocktake list from the Pantry aswell. Doing this we end up with a shopping list for the month (I have a note in my diary with cleaning & bathroom stuff etc that are needed).
This shop can cost $180-$230 but its for the month - technically i shouldn't have to step foot into coles until the next month.
$30 per week is budgeted for Fruit & Veg at the fruit shop to top up lunch boxes and an extra $10 per week for Bread & Milk.
So i guess thats about $30 per week Meat + $30 per week Fruit & Veg + $10 Perishables + $50 per week Other Groceries = $120 per week for Groceries and we eat pretty well, doing it like this just takes time.
Just to add: We keep the list of meals on the fridge and on sunday when we have dinner we all get to pick from the list what is on the menu for the week so i know what is to be defrosted the night before, although DS is only 3 he loves having input when we read what is left to pick from. This also benefits my DH who now has a bit more input with the shopping seeing its only once a month & he gets a coffee & donut He is also more inclined to help with the cooking as he know's exactly what we are having.
This is all dinners except maybe 1 per week that we get fish or the once/twice we go out. All Lunches/morning teas - DH actually enjoys Luncheon Roll sandwiches, i have salad with a bit of pasta & Salad Dressing. Breakfasts included are cereal or toast with fortnightly bacon & eggs (Whilst Pregnant) alternatively was Smoke Salmon & Hollandaise sauce or Pancakes.
If we end up short, or forgetting to defrost we have a back up tin of spaghetti in the cupboard so we don't just buy something or we have eggs/quiches etc that doesn't require defrosting - amazing how much better your memory gets when faced with Nice Meal v's Tin Spaghetti on Toast.
Edited by Working_Mummy, 08 February 2012 - 01:42 PM.
Posted 08 February 2012 - 04:54 PM
I'm sorry ladies but Aldi sucks. Sucks because I'm in WA and they are not.lol
I do my bulk order with Springer Foods if that helps - they are in WA
If you order over $100 (which isn't hard when buying in bulk) they deliver no extra cost.
I just got my order in this week - 20kg flour, sr flour, oats, 1kg minced garlic, 5kg golden syrup, 10kg dried pasta, 3kg sultanas, 1kg almond kernels etc
Last time I checked our grocery was about $150-$200 per week for two adults, two almost teens, two children. I don't count the 6 chooks, they're fed separately lol but give us lovely eggs.
We buy all our f&v from the local grocer and only get stuff at Woolworths that I can't get there or in bulk.
Meat is organic from the SW and bought in bulk. We don't have meat every night but that's not just a money thing, but a consciousness of consumption. We are steadily growing more of our own f&v and have almost managed a year of home grown tomatoes with just a small gap here and there. ditto lettuce, herbs etc
cleaning stuff is microfibre cloths, vinegar etc apart from the dish liq, dishwasher (cannot find a good eco version and actually considering ditching the DW if this one dies) and washing machine.
diva, cloth pads, reusable wipes and had previously cloth bummed all the kids (now completely a nappy-free household as of Jan lol)
I think I'm due to keep track of what we buy and when and work out the 2012 per week amount.
Posted 08 February 2012 - 05:03 PM
What I always do food-wise:
1) costco for staples (50c for 500g-1kg packets of lovely pasta from Italy - unbeatable!)
2) buy discounted meat and freeze immediately if not eating tonight
3) lots of eggs and legumes and eat that as a protein source instead of meat
4) cook enough for tomorrow's work lunches
5) never succumb to sale tickets - just read the price tag and tell yourself "Do I want to buy this item at this price at this time?"
6) don't immediately chuck food past use by date - you can still salvage it or cut of bad bits etc or just cook it REALLY WELL - or give it to the pets
7) make a list and stick to it
8) bake your own cakes/biscuits
9) I never buy soft drinks/juices etc except for hosting guests
10) the most important tip of all - allow yourself a treat budget.
Posted 08 February 2012 - 05:15 PM
I spend about $90 per week for two adults and two children.
I do a shop for pantry items and laundry/household things fortnightly at Coles for about $50. DH works there, so we get a small discount of 5%.
I spend $40 per week on fruit and veg at our local side of the road shack. We get apples for $1 a kilo, and I buy three kilos a week, and use them for everything from cut fruit, to sauce, to thickeners in stews, and to set jam. I buy 10 kg of potatoes for $7.50 every month. I buy seconds vegies for soups, but firsts for other things. DS also grows alot of our vegies from seed - he saves me so much!
I buy eggs from one of our neighbours. I bake our bread, jam, yogurt and ice cream.
I spend about $25 per week on meat and fish. I either buy from the wholesaler in town, or from one of our neighbours. Last week we heard that seals had broken the enclosures of the Tassal farms down the road, and so one of the guys down the road put out nets and caught salmon that had escaped it was awesome! We used to buy meat from the mainland because we can't get kosher meat here, but it's too expensive, so we've moved to a basically egg/fish/our own chicken menu.
Edited by jordiegirl, 08 February 2012 - 05:17 PM.
Posted 08 February 2012 - 05:38 PM
I spend $300-350/fn, for 2 adults 2 children & 2 dogs.
I buy my meat in bulk, & buy mostly cheap meat like mince & chicken drumsticks, It's surprising how many different ways to prepare mince & chicken there are.
Once a fortnight I have a big cook up where I make Spag bog, lasanga, apricot chicken & other meals I can freeze. I find is saves on waistage at the end of the fortnight when some of the veg is looking sad & if I'm feeling lazy we don't choose to have takeaway.
I buy my milk & bread for the fortnight & freeze it
Baking (& freezing) biscuits, muffins, scones & pikelets
For kids lunches they take the frozen baked foods & instead of buying prepackaged food like chips, I buy cheap bags of chips & either package them into containers or ziplock bags.
DP & I take fruit salad & yoghurt for lunch as well as either left overs or a wrap (ham & salad or grilled veg), the fruit salad & yoghurt costs us about $15 for the fn (so $1.50/day each) I only use melons, pineapple & grapes so I can cut up lots & it keeps for a few days.
Posted 08 February 2012 - 05:54 PM
$150 a week for 2 adults, a toddler, infant, 2 dogs, fish and a cat.
$80 of that is at Aldi/ Coles, depending on whether I can ditch my husband and if we need wet food for the animals. It's the same for both as I ONLY put the basics in the trolley. Okay, basics including chocolate and Ice Break coffee.
$30 at the fruit and vege shop, $30 is the upper limit if I am buying exotic fruits like Mangoes and Dragon fruit. This fruit shop has Mangoes for $1 each or a box for $6.50 at the moment! There's about 10 in a box.
$40 at the butchers. That's an average because I'll often buy bulk Angus rump when they have it on special for $5.99 a kg if you buy a whole rump. Some weeks I'll skip the butcher, others I'll only spend $10.
Posted 08 February 2012 - 06:00 PM
Jordiegirl's post jogged my memory- I found out that my local fruit and veg shop sells 4kg bags of "seconds" apples. They look exactly the same as standard apples, with very slight blemishes or slightly mis-shaped. They're sold for $4 for 4kg. I didn't even know the shop sold anything like that until I asked one day and they did- right up the back of the shop, kinda hidden....
I also bake a lots for my kid's lunchboxes. Today I made muffins from manky, brown bananas and raspberries from our garden. Next week I'll make a date and muesli slice that I cut into bars.
I usually grow some of our veggies, but this year I've been too slack due to 12 months of serious health problems, so the veggie garden has gone to wrack and ruin I'll get it pumping again next season. Until recently (again, because I got slack when I got so sick and was bedridden for a while), I would clean with vinegar and bi-carb, and use yellow Velvet soap bars (or Sunlight soap bars) for laundry stain removal. Saving money on those cleaning products save me a lot of money. Now that my health and energy is better, I'll ditch the exxy cleaning sprays and go back to my vinegar/tea tree essential oil/water mix for spraying on surfaces.
Below is my highly adaptable muesli bar recipe. I change the ingredients all the time, depending on what I have on hand, as long as the ratio's stay the same. Rather than the slivered almonds, I've used walnuts, or sunflower seeds, or pepitas. Rather than the dates and sultanas I've used mixed fruit, or just 1 cup of dates, or dried blueberries....just whatever I had. It's cheap and keeps all week in an airtight container for kid's lunchboxes.
Date and Muesli Slice
125g butter or marg, melted
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup plain flour
1/2 cup pitted dates, chopped
1/2 cup sultanas
1/2 cup slivered almonds
* Pre heat oven to 180*C, line 20cm square tin with baking paper.
* In a large bowl, mix melted butter and sugar, and add eggs, mix well.
* Stir in remaining ingredients until combined.
* Press into prepared tin and bake for 20 mins, or until golden.
* Cool completely before slicing into rectangles.
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